April was a busy month for Mindful Future. We have just started our sixth 'Introduction to Mindfulness' course in Haverfordwest; we are now delivering courses at Pembrokeshire College on Wednesday evenings and in Haverfordwest on Saturday afternoons.
We have also started working with the VC Gallery to run a mindfulness drop-in for their customers on a Monday afternoon. This is funded from the profits made from the public courses. We are very proud to have started working towards our social enterprise aims and would like to thank Barry at VC Gallery for his support.
We held our first monthly 'Mindful Moment Drop-in' last Saturday in Haverfordwest. This is an hour long session that is a top-up for people who have previously attended one of our courses and a taster for people who are new to mindfulness, or not sure if they want to attend a full course. The next drop-in will be on 20th May in Haverfordwest. If you are interested in attending, please contact us and we will reserve a place for you. The drop-in is free, although donations towards our social enterprise work are very welcome.
We are also taking bookings for our next course which will run on Tuesday evenings from 6th June in Haverfordwest. Contact us for more information and to book a place.
We have been very pleased with the response to our request for volunteers to join our management committee and would like to thank Leanne, Suchi, Mikinda and Ellen for volunteering to help. We are looking forward to working with you to ensure that the organisation is sustainable and continues to grow. There is still room for more volunteers to join the committee and we would particularly welcome some men. If you are interested or you know someone who might be, please contact us for more information.
One of the most common topics for discussion at our sessions is distraction, or mind-wandering. A lot of people find that when they sit down to meditate or just to watch the breath for a while, their mind starts to wander and they get distracted very easily. They are often surprised that when they mention this, everyone else in the group has the same issue!
Why do our minds wander so much and get distracted so easily? The first thing to point out is that this is quite normal. Our minds do wander, random thoughts seem to pop into our heads from nowhere and it is quite easy to get carried away on our train of thought and be distracted for a while before we even notice what has happened. Have a look at this article from Psychology Today for more information.
It is also important to note that every time we notice we have been distracted and manage to turn our attention back to the object of focus, this is actually a moment of mindfulness. We are being mindful of the fact that we have been carried away on our train of thought. From my own experience, I have observed that the more practice I have at noticing when my mind has wandered, the quicker I am able to turn my attention back to the object of focus. It's a bit like a workout for the mind, the more repetitions you do, the stronger the mental muscles become.
We should also be aware of the tendency to get cross with ourselves when our mind wanders. It's normal for our minds to get distracted, so there is little point in berating ourselves when this happens. When you notice that your mind has wandered, be kind to yourself, acknowledge what has happened and gently guide your attention back to the object of focus.
So in summary:
Jo is a director of Mindful Future and an accredited Breathworks Mindfulness Teacher. Breathworks is one of the leading Mindfulness organisations in the UK